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  • CharonFerryman
    replied
    How I feel when Glorious Solar Saber can be applied to Warstriders



    How I feel when reading Karvara, and then remembering that Glorious Solar Plate and Glorious Solar Saber can be applied to Warstriders

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  • Isator Levi
    replied
    All right, the big one: warstriders.

    The opening is standard; establishing what warstriders are and how they're used (with the addition of a bit of terminology for them based on their Artifact level); laying out the fact that they have Evocations (covering both a broad array of powers and representation of things like ancillary systems); the image of how they're piloted, and implications therein (particularly how actions and abilities between pilot and warstrider being equivalent, excepting things like the warstrider's Strength and soak).

    Now, the idea that warstrider Strength is linked to pilot Strength, and they run on a different track to determine feats of Strength, I think is the first new thing. If nothing else, it would feel like a good instance of making that image that piloting them entails being strapped into a harness and pulling the limbs around feel real and visceral. I also think it's a good idea to just say, in this case, that they can perform certain feats irrespective of their general Strength rating is a good way to let them have both heavy lifting and breaking without being wholly broken when it comes to hitting you with a sword.

    Let's see, soak, Hardness and health levels sell the idea of them being hardy. I'm surprised that there's still a difference between mundane and Artifact weapons for warstriders. Still, if the traits are all the same as the regular scaled one, the odd character who would be able to wield them wouldn't be immensely broken (depending a bit on what their Evocations are like).

    Trying to figure out the devastating action... so if the warstrider is engaged with enemies that include a battle group (or a lot of trivial opponents, which I assume is contextual depending on whether or not you're in a warstrider; as in, there might be certain enemies who weren't trivial until you strapped into a 10m suit of god armour), you get to make an attack against them without it needing to use up whatever attack you'd want to make against a more dangerous specific enemy. I'm guessing this is something that came out of playtesting; an observation at some point that the scope and power of a 'strider didn't come across as well if they needed to make a choice between attacking armies and Exalts. It also gives another sense of why one might employ such a weapon, since a regular-sized Exalt can still be a bit vulnerable to the stronger battle groups, especially if they're less focused on hitting back because their attention is focused on Exalted or similar enemies.

    There's an interesting balance in mobility; at combat scale, their enormous size means they can move around and make or close distance with ease, but are comparatively slow and hulking when it comes to moving across long distances. They get all of the benefits of Legendary Size (plus some that are unique, that I'm going to read as a matter of being not only large, but having a human stance and physical awareness), and their huge combat advantages are offset a bit by the difficulty of moving with enough precision to effectively strike singular, human sized enemies. I personally appreciate the direct statement that the things are so heavy that it can present major environmental difficulties to them, if only for how this plays into certain old stories about defeating the things.

    I'd say that the rules for maintenance and repair of the things are appropriately onerous, without being impenetrable to read, and actually make the prospect of the thing taking damage seems like something rather fearsome. That going especially for cases where a play group simply won't have a character with the skills necessary to repair one; I have this nice mental picture of a group travelling with their warstrider in tow, and every major battle carries a lot of tension around the question of just how banged up it's going to get and how much further they can go before it needs to be abandoned altogether, or they have to seek out some dubious power that will perform the repairs for a price. I can readily imagine that as the origin for any ruined warstrider frames that a character might try to jury rig back into a state of functionality.

    Then there are the anti-warstrider gambits. I've sung the praises of gambits before, especially as they pertain to adding a bit of diversity and verisimilitude to circumstances such as these, and even while the gambit for simply creating an opening to just attack the pilot is appropriately difficult, it does overall give me an impression that taking a warstrider into battle against a reasonably powerful human is not necessarily the best course of action. They're definitely powerful, but not in a way that forces an arms race.

    Still, a lot of that is old news, even when it's expressing it through a new system. I'm about ready to look at the examples of specific warstriders and see what they can really do now.

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  • The MG
    replied
    Until they get to Karvara, of course.

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  • Kyman201
    replied
    Also, for the people doing Reads... When you get to the Warstrider section, I recommend this background music.

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  • Marcob
    replied
    Look at the descriptions of the artifacts listed, and count how many have existed for centuries/millennia/uncounted years. I think that's the difference. These artifacts that have been around for a while and used here and there are well developed like the examples we have. Fresh artifacts, as the book notes, will only have 1-2 Evocations and are waiting for a wielder to turn them into a legend.

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  • armyofwhispers
    replied
    Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
    Hmmmm...

    Before getting to warstriders, one thing that I feel confident of at this point is that Holden's statement about how the book would provide more context and meaning to those terms such as century and thousand-year daiklaves seems to have not made it through. Whether this was a result of limited space or a change in ideas along with developers, I could not say.
    I almost feel like they dropped that aspect. Or at least sorta.

    Now it seem like you get to be a 4-dot or 5-dot daiklaive based more on how epic and evocative your themes are. Perhaps it's more an idea that you only see a daiklaive such as this forged every thousand years type thing? Though that doesn't make sense in the context of the first age either where these were churned out much faster than in the current age. *shrugs* maybe now it's just plain hyperbole?

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  • Isator Levi
    replied
    Originally posted by Elfive View Post
    Having powerful artifacts have a drawback like that is an easy way to make plot, but it's by no means the only one.
    ​Ehhh, I wouldn't really think of it in terms of drawbacks...

    ​I'm looking at Volcano Cutter and... I can't remember its name, the boomerang, as contrasts. Volcano Cutter might have a bit of an issue with where you use it, but that's not really anything to do with its personality, just that its powers are about creating eruptions. I see the basic matter of its high-level power being the way in which it needs to build up and deposit its energies through use in combat, and can only pull off its major effect by harnessing those. A matter of requiring momentum.

    ​The boomerang is similar in terms of its capabilities and ultimate power, and while there are people who might have reservations about it using souls, its character and the focus of its abilities isstill on pursuing criminals.

    Really, setting aside any sinister implications, the biggest thing that I take from the Forgotten Blade is just being an alternate approach to a weapon of significant power, in the way that its lowest attuned state can still do a very powerful thing, with Evocations to refine the application. I think you could make a red jade reaper daiklave that has a similar approach to some kind of heat based effect, without needing to be about desiccating everything within a large radius.

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  • Darkuwa
    replied
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FckkZihQUaU

    The Average exalted who pilots Kavara

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  • Isator Levi
    replied
    Hmmmm...

    Before getting to warstriders, one thing that I feel confident of at this point is that Holden's statement about how the book would provide more context and meaning to those terms such as century and thousand-year daiklaves seems to have not made it through. Whether this was a result of limited space or a change in ideas along with developers, I could not say.

    Leave a comment:


  • Elfive
    replied
    The Forgotten Blade doesn't seem to have a spirit or anything in it.

    So yeah, I think people are seeing a pattern where there isn't one. Having powerful artifacts have a drawback like that is an easy way to make plot, but it's by no means the only one.

    Leave a comment:


  • Gigaton-Falcon-Emu
    replied
    Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

    ​Apart from not being part of the guidelines or parameters given for Artifacts of such power, and how an Artifact such as Volcano Cutter has neither an entity bound into it or any kind of mystery that could be used to suppose that maybe it does, that's supremely limiting as a way to approach five-dot Artifact weapons compared to the diverse array of concepts before them.

    ​What, orichalcum weapons never get to express their concepts of majesty, righteousness and revelation at the highest level? All of those concepts peak at four-dots, and then it's straight into being a monster's prison?

    ​I want to be clear, I didn't mean that point before as a criticism, more of a wry observation. It just seems extremely weird for people to run with that observation and come up with arguments for why it should represent an indelible standard. Especially considering some of the really great concepts that the writers seeded throughout the preceding Artifacts; my God, there's an axe that lets you weaponize insight into the world and the people you're fighting against, made from the discarded brush of an art god, and I've got people (on two forums, mind) telling me that of course five-dot Artifacts are going to be sinister and malevolent because you stick people with the pointy end? Come on.

    ​And to be absolutely clear, this is not a crack against the writers. I think all four of those weapons are great, and considering everything that came before, I don't doubt that they have the imagination and creativity to come up with five-dots that would touch on a more diverse array of sensibilities.

    Just perplexed by responses saying that those things don't belong and are unnecessary.
    And now I am really looking forward to your review of Kavara...

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  • Isator Levi
    replied
    Originally posted by Saipjas View Post
    Isator Levi I would say that the very nature of being a five dot artifact weapon requires by its very nature a being of immense power. These creatures tend to have alien concepts or desires and are so vast and powerful that it’s like lashing Godzilla into a weapon (slightly hyperbolic as that is more Eva..I mean kavara). Just my two cents.
    ​Apart from not being part of the guidelines or parameters given for Artifacts of such power, and how an Artifact such as Volcano Cutter has neither an entity bound into it or any kind of mystery that could be used to suppose that maybe it does, that's supremely limiting as a way to approach five-dot Artifact weapons compared to the diverse array of concepts before them.

    ​What, orichalcum weapons never get to express their concepts of majesty, righteousness and revelation at the highest level? All of those concepts peak at four-dots, and then it's straight into being a monster's prison?

    ​I want to be clear, I didn't mean that point before as a criticism, more of a wry observation. It just seems extremely weird for people to run with that observation and come up with arguments for why it should represent an indelible standard. Especially considering some of the really great concepts that the writers seeded throughout the preceding Artifacts; my God, there's an axe that lets you weaponize insight into the world and the people you're fighting against, made from the discarded brush of an art god, and I've got people (on two forums, mind) telling me that of course five-dot Artifacts are going to be sinister and malevolent because you stick people with the pointy end? Come on.

    ​And to be absolutely clear, this is not a crack against the writers. I think all four of those weapons are great, and considering everything that came before, I don't doubt that they have the imagination and creativity to come up with five-dots that would touch on a more diverse array of sensibilities.

    Just perplexed by responses saying that those things don't belong and are unnecessary.

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  • Elfive
    replied
    The collar is basically Sun Wukong's headband, so I guess it can pass.

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  • Isator Levi
    replied
    Only just noticing that the table of contents is kind of weird in what it chooses the highlight... Anyway, the higher level wonders.

    Ohoho, look at the adorable brass Ultron.

    ​Looking at the Brass Legionnaires, I'd imagine that their main benefit as warriors is being enduring rather than elaborately powerful, which is still something that has its place. I feel as though a more detailed description of their capabilities in battle groups would not have been amiss, but given the parameters described in the core, it's probably not hard to figure out. Either way, I would say that is the function in which they could really shine.

    I wonder what certain people will make of a sidebar describing the circumstances in which Artifacts could have been made en masse?

    ​Ahh, this is unexpected; one of those much maligned imprisonment Artifacts. I'll be interested to see what they did with that...

    ​Hmm, enforcing compliance through inflicting injury, while mostly providing an out in the form of needing to kill the owner before the collar renders you unconscious. It's a bit crude (not a criticism), and certainly an improvement on the kinds of mind control in the past. Apart from its own merits, I can see some alternative concepts to build off of from this.

    ​Shadow-Casting Jewel seems like it could be rather brutal under the right circumstances, seems to fit into some of my ideas about Artifacts of that level, and is a fun combination of soulsteel darkness control and moonsilver witchery. That the sorcery-catching cord is limited to one spell makes me think of stories in which one needs to be very discerning and meticulously plan what spell they wish to be able to call on at a moment's notice, which I regard as fitting to the character archetype.

    ​Hmm, I think in prior Editions, Wings of the Raptor were much more literal, so I approve of changing the concept to give room to something more like myth or folklore. Errrm... oh, I initially misread the line as saying that you needed to be Resonant to unlock the basic flight power, rather than it needing to be purchased by the Dissonant (who then get an inferior version), that makes more sense. This would be a case in which I think of Evocations less as a matter of unlocking new powers, and more as a representation of growing mastery over the basic power.

    Now, for the first product of outright First Age Artifice. I'm pretty sure that the Golden Serpent was in prior Editions, but if I ever read anything about it I can't remember. Rather than a comparison, I'll just judge this write-up in its own right, and say that if I had any doubt about its lofty position, that was alleviated when I got to the line about how it can absorb knowledge from everybody that it kills. The image of somebody going around with a pet golden snake draping their shoulders or slithering alongside them, to be sent sneaking into places as an assassin and reconnoitre is rather vivid. I'm also amused by the notion that the metal snake is something with some very powerfully held convictions.

    ​The Veil that Holds Back Time certainly has a rather powerful effect, although one that I would suspect has its greatest use in things that players encounter, rather than their own activities.

    ​And finally, some rules for siege engines. That these things use War and require the assistance of a battle group is already a good start to making me feel like the concept is well-integrated into the combat system, and I'd say that the resulting damage stats make them feel appropriately powerful if they manage to hit somebody (even if it probably takes a few shots to build up the Initiative for a good decisive attack, even if the result is likely extreme). I definitely think that it was a good call to streamline all of the engine varieties into a number of broad categories; too many kinds of catapult before.

    ​So, lightning ballista and implosion bow; these are things that I've been wondering about for a while. Looking at the descriptions, their base forms definitely look like they're the kinds of things that simply cannot be operated with the Exalted or similar people (even if they're commanding a team rather than doing all of the heavy lifting personally). Still, that really only affects a personal image of what the First Age was like (which can be resolved in a few ways besides), and it is fitting to their place in the Age of Sorrows (even accounting for other possible folks who could attune, command and power their Evocations on behalf of some mortal prince), so it isn't really a problem.

    ​The lightning ballista's Stormblast Barrage does seem fairly powerful, and the statement that it requires repair after every use is certainly a lot more succinct than prior Editions with their "after X shots the thing becomes 10% less effective, whatever the hell that means", but if it can only be used for attacks on people with the Evocation, and the Evocation can only get off one shot at a time... No, wait, I just misread the last paragraph, it requires repair after a scene in which the Evocation is used. So it can still be shot multiple times, for withering and then decisive attacks (albeit with heavy mote costs), and then when the fight is concluded it requires repair. Makes perfect sense.

    ​Whereas the implosion bow... Collapsing Point of Destruction does look as though it could be fairly dangerous, but it raises the question of how the shooter is meant to build up Initiative for the decisive attack before firing, unless I'm missing something in the numbers and it would be the kind of thing that could be dangerous just on the Initiative of one's Join Battle roll (or else that it's something where you're in the thick of the battle until the point where you leap over to command your implosion bow crew and have them open fire). Also, I think the language describing how people's dodges interact with it is a bit unclear, and not phrased through the usual combat mechanics, so that could do with some cleaning up.

    ​And finally some vehicles. I think it's a good touch to give Horizon Endeavour a bit of personal backstory, and it looks as though it would be quite fast. I've wondered how naval artillery would work since the core established a standard damage, so building around that by inflicting disadvantages looks like a decent way to go. The Chariot of Aerial Conquest is fast, but looks a bit bare-bones (even if I imagine that such flight would have particular tactical and strategic advantages in the context of the game, both in terms of nobody to effectively contest aerial superiority, and conveying the Exalted around).

    ​Now, while I do like hearthstones as a general thing, in a book such as this they have difficulty fighting for my attention. So while I am interested in reading these ones, and maybe even commenting upon them, for the time being I'm going to leave them aside. I'm eager to get a look at the warstrider chapter, so I'll get right to that in a little while.

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  • Elfive
    replied
    It's a little inconsistent about that. The umbrella has the shield tag factored in, but the thunderbolt shield doesn't.

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